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October 11, 2012

Lessons learned from hacker’s assault on animal hospital

“Today, with everything being paperless, you could literally lose your whole business in the snap of a finger if you don’t have the right backups.” Those words weren’t spoken by someone trying to market a high-tech solution to manage veterinary practices’ digital data. They came from Mike Krajewski, practice manager at Dr. Nina’s Animal Hospital in Sarasota, Fla., who came out on the losing side of a battle with a malicious Russian hacker. Krajewski, who acknowledges that he knows “quite a bit about IT,” had a seemingly solid plan in place to secure and store the animal hospital’s data. It worked well, until the international hacker launched a sneak attack that could easily threaten any similarly vulnerable hospital. Although Krajewski basically had to start from scratch after the hack, he learned some valuable lessons that he shared to help other hospitals protect themselves.

August 28, 2012

For your clients: Emergency and disaster evacuation planning

Some of your clients may have been caught off guard by the fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters that have affected the country. Sadly, many pets can die or become lost during the chaos of these events.   It is important for pet owners to be prepared for natural disasters so that they and their animals make it through alive and well. You can do your part to help your clients by sharing these emergency and disaster evacuation tips with them.

August 28, 2012

Veterinary students struggle to find hands-on experience, mentorship

A large-scale shortage of mentorships and externships is leaving many veterinary students with frustration and disappointment as they seek guidance and hands-on experience outside of school.   American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) President Mark Russak, DVM, CVJ, said one of the biggest reasons for scarcity of external learning opportunities is that veterinary practices are hesitant to assume the considerable legal liability stemming from hosting interns and volunteers who are at risk for bites and other injuries. Another reason is that practices that normally operate efficiently fear they will be bogged down while working with students, Russak said.   Despite these barriers, there are opportunities waiting for you if you make an effort to find them. Consider using the following tips to greatly increase your chances of success.

July 31, 2012

Survey shows pet owners seek health, nutrition info online

In the past 10 years, use of the Internet has more than doubled as a provider of pet care information, according to a report by Trone Brand Energy. The report, presented at the BlogPaws pet blogging conference in June 2012, sheds insight on how the modern pet owner seeks pet care information for their animals. The data showed that 42 percent of pet owners spend more than 30 minutes per week reading about or researching pet-related topics. What does this mean for veterinarians? Pet bloggers and online information sources are becoming recognized as authoritative sources for information on pet care, meaning that veterinarians are increasingly sharing the center stage in providing pet care information. However, the report gives hope to veterinary clinics that strive to provide online resources about pet care.

June 19, 2012

Diagnostics, wellness plans gain traction in 2012

If you’re not offering a wellness plan or planning to do so in the near future, you’d better get cracking. This is the advice of Ron Brakke of Brakke Consulting, who highlighted recent trends, news and developments in the veterinary world at the Animal Health Breakfast Roundtable in Kansas City, Mo. "If a vet doesn’t do it, he’s going to be out of business," Brakke, president of Brakke Consulting, said to a group of industry and professional leaders Wednesday, June 20, 2012. Brakke spoke at the first Animal Health Breakfast Roundtable, hosted by Stinson Morrison Hecker, LLP. Brakke and Susan Warren, also of the Brakke consultancy, highlighted the trends and developments over the past six months. The event took place in the law firm’s office in Kansas City. Here is a summary of major trends to look for in 2012 and going forward, based on Brakke’s presentation. Diagnostics Diagnostics is one of the hottest and most promising fields in companion animal health, Brakke said. With the increased focus on preventive health care and the rise of prepaid wellness programs, diagnostics will take center stage at practices. Spending on diagnostics has increased nearly threefold in the past seven years, according to Brakke figures. In 2005, $685 million was spent on diagnostics. Currently, that number is close to $2 billion – and most of the spending is directed at companion animals.

June 19, 2012

Solutions marketing for clinic success

In this exclusive video interview with NEWStat, practice management consultant Karyn Gavzer gives insight on using solutions marketing can help your clinic find success.

May 29, 2012

Report reflects tough times ahead for veterinary workforce needs

The condition of the present academic veterinary community may be leading research, food security, and public health needs to a train wreck if the current course is not altered, according to a new report from the National Research Council, released May 30, 2012. At the present rate, the academic veterinary community will not produce enough veterinarians for faculty teaching and research positions, nor for jobs in federal research and regulatory agencies, the pharmaceutical and biologics industry, and state diagnostic laboratories, according to the report. The report notes that though the supply of veterinarians is growing, more than half of veterinary students are pursuing training in companion animal or pet medicine rather than the research, food security and public health sectors. The economy has also handicapped students who may have gone on to seek Ph.D. training for faculty teaching and research positions, burdening them under massive student debt and keeping them from pursuing further education and key jobs in the public sector. The 2012 study was initiated by a 2006 request from the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), with support from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Bayer Animal Health and the Burroughs Welcome Fund in response to concerns about West Nile, BSE, HPAI, 9/11 and the security and safety of the food supply.

May 08, 2012

Obesity and other chronic conditions on the rise, Banfield says

Chronic conditions, especially obesity, are on the rise across the United States over the past five years, according to the newly released 2012 State of Pet Health Report from Banfield. According to the Banfield report, overweight and obesity, arthritis, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and heart disease are all on the rise. "Over the past five years, many chronic conditions have continued to increase, in some instances, at an alarming rate," Banfield Chief Medical Officer Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, wrote in the report. The research reflects a dramatic increase in reports of overweight and obese pets. According to the report, overweight and obese pets have increased by 37 percent (dogs) and 90 percent (cats) since 2007. As a part of its report, Banfield surveyed both dog and cat owners about their perceptions of veterinary care and their pets’ health. Of the pet owners surveyed, 76 percent of dog owners and 69 percent of cat owners said they believe their pet is just the right weight.

April 17, 2012

Cornell braces for wave of faculty retirements

The Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine is expecting to see a loss of 30 to 40 percent of its professors over the next 10 years, according to the Cornell Daily Sun.

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